An analysis of 16 years’ worth of confirmed measles cases in the United States to better understand transmission patterns found that unvaccinated people are about three to four times more infectious than those with measles who have gotten one or two doses and that pockets of unvaccinated people are fertile ground for superspreading events.

Factors apart from vaccination—such as contact patterns, high population density, and reduced or declining antibody levels—can contribute to measles transmission. The authors said the goal of the study was to more clearly tease out transmission, which could help target public health resources for preventing and controlling the disease.

A team led by experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and including researchers from Britain and Australia, reported its findings today in JAMA Pediatrics.

Transmissibility and superspreaders

Credit: iStock, Manjurul

Credit: iStock, Manjurul

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